Redeemer Classical Academy
[This is the recording and notes from the Redeemer Classical Academy Info Night, held on Friday, March 31st, 2023.]
Redeemer Classical Academy Info Night
Launched in the fall of 2020, (A crazy time to start a Classical Christian school, I know!) we have grown each year and God has been faithful to bless our efforts. Our vision remains the same from the very beginning: to help home-schooling families provide a robust Classical Christian Education for their children.
Redeemer Classical Academy exists to assist parents in their responsibility to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
So, you might be asking, why Classical Christian education? Why is this worth my time and money and attention?
Well at the core, the answer goes beyond mere educational preferences and opinions. We are providing this kind of education because we believe that these efforts honour God in what He has commanded us to do. We want to obey Ephesians 6:4, and Deuteronomy 6. Some may find other ways to honour God through other paths of education – but let each one be convinced in his own mind. We are convinced that this Classical Christian Hybrid model is faithful, effective, and holds great promise for a better future for our students.
But what specifically led to the founding of this school? What is at the core of why we exist in particular?
Two impulses, Three commitments, One over-arching aim.
Two Impulses – Protect and Provide.
There was a dramatic increase in homeschooling and private schooling the last few years. It has been on the rise for quite a while, but there was a drastic spike in enrollments recently. Why?
This is what you hear time and time again at board meetings, in political discussions. It is behind why many have opted out of the public schools.Many have taken Voddie Baucham's warning to heart:
"We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans." ― Voddie T. Baucham Jr.
And so many have followed him and others like Douglas Wilson with his book, the Case for Classical Christian Education. And they have said, "I'm out!". Whatever we do for education, it can't be sending them to the pagans. It has gotten to be too bad, too spiritually risky for our children. That is the protect impulse. Protect your kids from harm. Protect them from godless ideologies. Protect them from anti-Christian biases and rhetoric. Protect them from excessive worldly pressure in their tender years. Protect them from indoctrination and enculturation in an alien and hostile worldview.
But the other impulse is positive. Provide. This is what has motivated me the most. Protect is important, but God calls us to more than that. Give them a Christian education. Raise them up in the Lord. Why struggle against the grain, why not teach our children the best that we can. Why not exceed expectations of this world. Why not lead, and show the world the better way of Christ.
We want to provide an education that exceeds and surpasses that which you will find in a public school or even a mainstream Christian school.
Protect and Provide.
Three Commitments – Christian, Classical, Hybrid
At Redeemer Classical Academy you will find a rock-solid commitment to the Historic Christian Faith. We make it our chief aim to teach all things within the framework of a Christian worldview. If education was like baking a cake, then we aren't just taking a public school curriculum cake and sprinkling chapel and prayers on top. We are baking an entirely different cake. This is education done in Christ, through Christ and for Christ. Whether Science, Latin, History, or anything else, it is all done in relation to Christ and for His glory (Romans 11:36).
Redeemer Classical Academy is first and foremost a Christian institution. We are founded on the rock of the historic Christian faith. More narrowly, it is an Evangelical organization committed to the Doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. The Academy is concerned with teaching students about God, about Creation and about all things from a Christian worldview.
Redeemer Classical Academy is founded on the belief that Christ is the point of integration for all of life. For from him and through him and to him are all things (Romans 11:36). This means that all learning and all education is connected to Jesus Christ. This means that even a discipline like biology is from Christ; it should be explored through him and it is ultimately done for him and for his glory. Students of the Academy are being equipped and shaped to see all of life with a Christian worldview.
We are recovering older and forgotten tools of learning, namely, the classical model of education.
Redeemer Classical Academy is committed to the Classical approach to education. This is a historic approach to education that is rigorous, disciplined, and rooted in the history of Western Civilization. With a classical education, the student progresses through three stages of learning called the Trivium – Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.
Following Dorothy Sayers' approach, we align these three elements with the stages of child development.
The grammar stage comes first and focuses on memorization and immersion into the material. This lines up with the first five grades where children are best equipped to memorize.
The second stage, logic, comes when the student is most inquisitive and argumentative and wants to know why things are the way they are. We lean into this and teach logic and reason, taking each subject deeper.
Lastly is rhetoric; where the student is developing ideas and wanting to share them with others. With that in mind, here the student learns how to write well, how to speak well, and how to debate. This is the capstone on the process where the student can bring things together and express themselves thoughtfully.
This method leads us to provide the students with a robust history curriculum, to acquaint them with objective beauty in the arts and in literature, to teach them challenging subjects like latin, logic, and rhetoric, and to aim in all of these things for excellence. With this model, we are not training more worker bees for the secularist hive, instead we are preparing students to become culture-makers, men and women prepared to think critically and to engage our culture with wisdom and virtue and faith.
3. Hybrid (Home-School)
And lastly, we employ a hybrid model of education, giving home-schooling families the benefits of classroom learning two days per week, while leaving three days for home-based learning.
As a Classical Christian School, we firmly believe that parents hold the primary responsibility of educating their children. We want parents to feel confident sending their children to the Academy knowing that the teachers share their Christian values and will honour their parental authority. We are committed to working together with parents to provide an excellent education for their students, equipping the next generation to honour and serve God in this world.
We exist to help parents discharge their duties to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Redeemer Classical Academy aims to supplement what parents are already doing in their homeschools. For the present we operate as a limited academy, teaching science, history, fine art, Latin, writing and physical education. In addition to teaching this material, we are giving the students an opportunity to learn in a structured and socially-rich environment. This classroom time is a great opportunity for homeschool students to be challenged in a new way.
One Over-Arching Aim: The Glory of Christ
What makes us a Christian Academy isn't a mere external action or something perfunctory. The difference is that all we do we do for the glory of Jesus Christ. He is the supreme goal in everything we do and He is the ground on which we stand.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. (Romans 11:36)
In whatever we do we want to live under the lordship of Jesus Christ. He is supreme. He is the greatest. And more than that, everything is connected to Him. We want to learn and do all things in and through and for Christ. Everything is about Jesus Christ.
This is what our world and sadly many Christians as well don't understand. Christ is not to be compartmentalized. We don't have a worship life on Sunday's and in our quiet times, and then a secular existence throughout the week, in our schooling and in our work. Or at least that is not what we are going for.
Right after the verse quoted above – from him and through him and to him are all things – we are commanded to present our whole lives to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). Now that means a lot of things, but one thing it means for sure is that the altar of our worship is not to be in a temple at one place and time, divorced from the rest of our lives. No, it is a living sacrifice. So, where is the altar for our worship? You're sitting on it. You're standing on it. The whole world, wherever you go, is the altar. Our lives are to be a continuous holy existence, a life of worship, a living sacrifice.
This teaching doesn't turn us into monks – cloistered away from the world either. We are called to live this life of worship in this very world. Paul goes on saying, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind (12:2). Our life as Christians in this world is to be characterized by a holy difference. We have been changed. We once were in the world, and the world loved us as its own. But now we live for Christ. We are different. We are transformed and are being transformed more and more. And yet we still live here. We still do all sorts of things here. Well, how are we to do those things?
For the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Do all for the glory of Christ. Whatever it is. Essentially, what we are saying is this: all of life is to be lived for Christ. We can do this because Christ our Redeemer truly makes all things new. He redeems. He brings things back from the brink. He restores what was lost. He brings beauty from the ashes. Through Him all things find their rightful place. And in Him we find the centre of everything. Jesus Christ is the centre point of History. He is the Lord of all. Lord of Science, Lord of History, Lord of the good, the true and the beautiful. He is the way, the truth and the life. For from him and through him and to him are all things. And therefore, we ought to do all things for his glory, offering up our whole lives as worship to our great Redeemer.
[for more information see the Academy's website: https://mshuba7.wixsite.com/redeemer-classical ]
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